BHANGRA PAA LE | 3 January, 2020

RSVP’s Bhangra Paa Le is a story about two people, both crazy about the bhangra dance form.

Jaggi (Sunny Kaushal) loves doing bhangra. His dream is to take his Khalsa College dance team to London by winning the inter-collegiate dance competition in India. But there’s no female dancer in his college who can dance like him. He befriends Simi (Rukshar Dhillon) who is an equally good bhangra dancer. In fact, he is keen that she join his college but is shocked to learn that she is from the rival Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU). Simi wants to win the competition so that she can go to London to prove a point to her father who had deserted the family years ago and was now settled in London.

Jaggi’s father (Parmeet Sethi) teaches bhangra in the town where they live but Jaggi has left the troupe as he wants to become a big bhangra dancer. He returns to his father’s training classes when Khalsa College loses to GNDU. Jaggi forms his own team and goes to London where his Pendu team and the GNDU team face off in the dance competition. Jaggi and Simi’s friendship and budding romance had taken a back seat after his college had lost to her college.

Jaggi and Simi’s love and dance story has a parallel with the love story of Jaggi’s grandfather and inspiration, Kaptaan Singh (Sunny Kaushal), who was an armyman. Kaptaan Singh had been inducted into the army in 1944 because his passion for music and dance acted as a motivation for the other armymen in his regiment. Kaptaan Singh had lost a leg in the battle and that had almost killed his chances of marrying his lady love, Nimmo (Shreya Pilgaonkar).

Does Jaggi marry Simi? Who wins the London dance competition? Did Kaptaan Singh unite in matrimony with Nimmo?

Dheeraj Rattan has written a story which is interesting mainly because it draws parallels with another story set in a different time period. But besides that, the story doesn’t impress too much because it has not been written well enough to touch the heart. Dheeraj Rattan’s screenplay fails to evoke the emotions it should’ve. He has concentrated so much on the dance that he seems to have not dwelt enough on the love story. Consequently, the audiences never really pray for the love story to succeed in the sense that they don’t really root for the lovers. Even in the love story of 1944, the pangs of separation between Kaptaan Singh and his beloved don’t make the viewers feel terribly sad. Exhilarating moments are almost missing in the screenplay in both the love stories and also in the dance competitions. The track of Simi’s estranged father also fails to move the audience emotionally. In short, the romance is far from heartwarming, and the emotional track does not have the desired effect on the viewers. Dheeraj Rattan’s dialogues are good at places.

Sunny Kaushal does well as Jaggi and Kaptaan Singh but he doesn’t find a comfortable place in people’s hearts, probably because his characters are not lovable. His dances are good but they look rehearsed and somewhere lack the energy of a born bhangra dancer. Rukshar Dhillon is pretty and makes a fairly good Bollywood debut. Even her dances give the audience the feeling that she may have danced gracefully but she isn’t a born bhangra dancer. Shreya Pilgaonkar is effective as Nimmo. Parmeet Sethi is okay as Jaggi’s father. Jayati Bhatia leaves a mark as Jaggi’s mother. Sheeba Chaddha has her moments as Simi’s mother. Samir Soni is average as Simi’s father. Mahabir Bhullar (as Kaptaan Singh’s father) and Seema Kaushal (as Kaptaan Singh’s mother) make their individual marks. Kamlesh Gill has her moments as Nimmo’s grandmother. Balraj Singh, Gautam Sharma, Babalbir Singh and Kulvinder Singh are adequate as Nimmo’s brothers. Swasti Kapur has screen presence in the role of Simi’s friend. Others are okay.

Sneha Taurani’s debut direction is okay. She knows the craft of direction but has not been able to make a touching love story against the backdrop of dance. Besides, although she has tackled two different stories set in two different time periods, the juxtapositioning doesn’t yield great results for the audience to take home. Music by Jam8 (Kaushik Das, Akash Sengupta, Guddu, Shubham Shirule, Keeran Satpute, Ana Rehman, A-Bazz, Nilotpal Munshi) and Rishi Rich is quite good but definitely not good enough for a dance film. There is not a single song that has been popularised enough to become a chartbuster when there should have been three or four of them in the film. Also, there are too many songs in the film. Lyrics (by Shloke Lal, Siddhant Kaushal, Mandy Gill, A-Bazz, Shubham Shirule, Kiranee and Yash Narvekar) are okay. Many of the songs sound similar. Song picturisations (by Bosco-Caesar, Adil Shaikh, Vijay Ganguly and Sahaj Singh) are alright but not breathtaking, as was required. Ketan Sodha’s background music is okay. Jitan Harmeet Singh’s cinematography is quite nice. Parvez Shaikh’s action and stunt scenes are alright. Saloni Dhatrak’s production designing is so-so. Antara Lahiri’s editing is okay.

On the whole, Bhangra Paa Le lacks fire and will be rejected at the box-office.

Released on 3-1-’20 at Inox (daily 3 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay by Unilazer Ventures Pvt. Ltd. Publicity: below the mark. Opening: poor. …….Also released all over. Opening was weak everywhere.

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